Monthly Archives: March 2015

an outing to the guangxi science & technology museum

Sunday, March 29: On weekends when I’m stuck in Nanning, I search desperately for something, anything, to do.  This town doesn’t have much of cultural or historical interest.  It really doesn’t offer much at all, other than shopping or dining, and even that isn’t great. So today, as I’ve had it on my list of things to see in Nanning, I go out to the Guangxi Science and Technology Museum. Several people told me it was worth seeing.  After visiting, I can say without a doubt that unless you are taking children along, this is not a place an adult will find of much interest.

Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

The museum looks impressive from the outside, with its big ball jutting out from the facade.

Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

Just inside the entrance is pretty impressive as well, with its glass ceiling and an oversized robot.

Inside the Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

Inside the Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

Robot inside the entrance to the Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

Robot inside the entrance to the Guangxi Science & Technology Museum

After that, there are several floors with interactive areas where mostly kids are running around playing, screaming and acting like, well, children.  It’s really just an oversized fancy playground for children.  A children’s museum, basically.  No one bothered to tell me this, so I really feel out-of-place as most people here are parents with their children, or teenage star-crossed lovers hanging out together.

As most of you may know, I’m not a lover of small children.  I always loved my own children, of course,  but other people’s children I’m not terribly fond of.  I have little tolerance or patience for them, and probably was never meant to be a mother.   Some of us have that motherhood gene, and some of us just don’t.

So, after making the rounds, I escape the noise and screaming and go back outdoors, where I take some parting shots.

parting shots at the end of the museum

parting shots at the end of the museum

Leaving the museum

Leaving the museum

pretty little garden

pretty little garden

across the street

across the street

arbor fever

arbor fever

It’s been a month since my big winter holiday of travels through China and Myanmar, and I’ve been back to work for three weeks.  I’m okay during the work week, but when the weekend comes I get itchy feet to go explore someplace new.  I think I need to go further afield because Nanning just doesn’t have much of interest.

During the week, I taught my classes, watched a lot of episodes of Scandal, had several lunches with colleagues, watched The Wolf of Wall Street, went to the theater to watch Kingsman Secret Service, and wrote a number of blog posts about my travels with Alex in Yunnan.  Oh, how I’m ready to travel again!

Categories: Asia, China, Expat life, Guangxi Science & Technology Museum, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning | Tags: , , , , , | 19 Comments

an afternoon stroll around nanhu lake park

Saturday, March 21:  It’s tough to find a good weather day in Nanning.  It’s either cold and damp, hot and damp, or just generally overcast and damp.  I think I could count on one hand the number of dry blue sky days, where the air is crisp and clear and comfortable, in the whole year I’ve been here.  If I waited for good weather to go out, I’d stay in my apartment all the time.  I do stay in a lot, in fact.

I’d written on my calendar to visit Nanhu Lake Park on this March day.   It’s another cloudy day, but, as there is no rain in the forecast, I figure I’d better give it a go anyway. I was told by my students to take bus #8 from the university and take it all the way to the end.  This takes me about an hour.  I arrive to find a karst landscape relief sculpture on the entry gate peeking out from behind the dangling branches of a red-flowering tree.

Entrance to Nanhu Lake Park

Entrance to Nanhu Lake Park

I get my first glimpse of the Nanning skyline through the haze.  Barely.

Nanning Skyline

Nanning Skyline

The arched bridge over the lake has delicate metal sculptures placed all along the railings.

Views from the bridge

Views from the bridge

views from the bridge

views from the bridge

What a lovely day for a boat ride!

Nanning skyline

Nanning skyline

Curvy bridge

Curvy bridge

On the other side of the bridge, official looking boats are lined up neatly at the dock.

boat dock

boat dock

In a central square, I find this statue, which seems to commemorate some revolutionary victory.

statue of some famous people :-)

statue of some famous people 🙂

I make my way though a shaded magical forest.  I love the trunks of the gnarly trees.

walkway through the trees

walkway through the trees

trees & grasses

trees & grasses

tree-line pathway

tree-lined pathway

The constant moisture in Nanning encourages the growth of a plethora of tropical foliage.

purple and pink extravaganza

purple and pink extravaganza

tropical foliage

tropical foliage

I come upon a small bamboo forest and make my way through a path amidst the stalks.

a bamboo forest

a bamboo forest

And soon I find a pretty little pond with a stone turtle, a little bridge, rock sculptures and bonsai trees.

a turtle in a pond

a turtle in a pond

pretty pond

pretty pond

wise fellow

wise fellow

pond grasses

pond grasses

around the pond

around the pond

fern heaven

fern heaven

foliage around the pond

foliage around the pond

I love the rough weathered bark on these trees juxtaposed against the green and purple ground cover.

pretty spot

pretty spot

As I continue my stroll, I find another little pond, not as pretty as the first, with a pavilion you can walk across.

another pond

another pond

I don’t know what’s happening in this sculpture, but maybe it’s some noisy family antics.

statue in nanny lake park

statue in nanny lake park

not so loud!

not so loud!

Another section of the park has a display of bonsai trees.

the bonsai garden

the bonsai garden

After a long walk along the south side of the lake, I look back and see the bridge I crossed earlier.

the bridge in the park with Nanning behind

the bridge in the park with Nanning behind

Crossing back over the bridge, I can see the palm-lined walkway to the bridge.

tree-lined walkway

tree-lined walkway

There are some pretty flowers along the north side of the lake.

yellow pretties

yellow pretties

palm tree oasis

palm tree oasis

bottle brush

bottle brush

a burst of red

a burst of red

golden flowers

golden flowers

fuzzy gold

fuzzy gold

The view over Nanhu Lake to the bridge and beyond

The view over Nanhu Lake to the bridge and beyond

view of Nanhu Lake

view of Nanhu Lake

I had mentioned to some of my students that I wanted to see the movie Taken 3 with Liam Neeson this afternoon.  My student Albert texts me on WeChat to arrange the time. I tell him I’m at Nanhu Park and will be home before long.  When I arrive back at the university front gate, I go to Starbucks for a coffee and a sandwich.  After this, I meet Albert, Leo, Stone and one other student who used to be in my class but is no longer; I’ve forgotten his name.  We all enjoy the movie together.  Overall, it was a slightly more fun weekend than most of the weekends when I’m stuck at home in Nanning. 🙂

Categories: Asia, China, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanhu Lake Park, Nanning | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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